Janine Jansen is one of the top violinists in a time when we are blessed with a large number of truly fine young musicians. She has beauty of presence both as soloist with orchestra and as a recitalist, a secure technique, and one of the creamiest
sounds to some from anyone's violin. This recital BEAU SOIR is all of a mood - that dream time, the gloaming so well define by the French school. This is music for the romantic ear and it is completely satisfying on every level. Her impressive collaborator is Itamar Golan at the piano.
The recital opens with Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor - eloquent! - and encored by Debussy's 'Beau Soir' and 'Clair de lune' (both in transcriptions for the violin and piano). Jansen then wisely updates the repertoire with some new works by contemporary Swiss composer Richard Dubugnon - 'La Minute exquise', 'Hypnos' (written for Jansen and this particular album) and 'Retour à Montfort-l'Amaury' (also written for this recital). If all of this composer's music is as appealing and immediately accessible as these works then he as a very promising future.
It s always a pleasure to encounter another work by the gifted Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) and here it is a beautiful 'Nocturne'. And again as a well timed change of pace Jansen offers from Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) his 'Thème et Variations pour violin et piano', a work of utter tranquility but with technical demands for both violin and piano. 'Après un rêve' by Gabriel Fauré (1845- 1924) follows, a perfect reverie. In the other major piece for this recording Jansen and Golan is the 'Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major' by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), the inclusion of which makes this a very well rounded survey of French music for the violin and piano.
But in addition to the brilliance of the performances is the mood this gentle recital creates - music for a sensuous night. There is a taste of many delicacies here! Grady Harp, February 11